I absolutely ALWAYS work from a reference photo/s, which is funny because up until about two years ago I absolutely ALWAYS worked without a reference. I can’t imagine doing without now. However, I don’t think my works would ever be really recognizable from the photos I’ve used for reference. I really use them for shadow and highlight reference or, say, I love the composition of a photo, I’ll use it for that. The photos are like a map for me. I’ve posted some crude progress shots on here for two paintings, Dissolve and Acerbic. The process for the watercolors is: 1) A sketch with graphite, really rough. 2) Erase graphite sketch, so that it’s barely visible. 3) Add watercolor, outside of the lines, no definition. I love (as you can tell) spots, streaks and runs. 4) After it’s completely dry, add ink, colored pencils and highlight with white charcoal. I am careful NOT to use the colored pencil where I want to highlight because the color pencils are oil based and charcoal won’t lay on top of it. In fact, a lot of the time I will add the highlights first (even though it’ll get screwed up in the process of adding the colored pencil and ink) just as a way to remind myself NOT to use that colored pencil in areas of highlight.
I hope that helps! Thank you so much for your sweet message!
Some of my answers are gonna make you giggle…I think. I have been using Prang children’s semi-moist watercolors :P Prior to that, I was using watercolors that I found in a Natural Wonders art kit I got when I was about 9. Pens I use: Alvin Austria black India ink quality permanent marker 0.3 & 0.5 mm & Tombow black dual brush pen. I try to get my watercolors pretty pale, and then when I incorporate the pen, it seems to make them ‘pop’ more. I started doing watercolors in January of this year…when I found the Natural Wonders art kit, of course! I had moved back to The States from Germany and was going through my stuff that had been in storage. I have been focusing on painting and sketching for the past four years. I dabbled in art when I was a kid, but prior to 2008 I had not attempted any artwork for 8 years. I don’t know why I quit or really why I picked it back up. Life is just odd sometimes.
You feel free to ‘bombard’ me anytime you want! Thank you so much for the kind words!!
Thank you so much for the sweet message!
I’m not sure that I have great inspirational moments. However, I am compelled to create constantly, like an obsession. It really bothers me if I go longer than a few hours without creating SOMETHING.
I have no formal training whatsoever, though, so I am still learning everyday. Sometimes I get an idea, and then I search for images that I think I can use to get that idea out. Sometimes, and this happens a LOT, I see an image and just decide I MUST PAINT THAT! This happens almost exclusively with the watercolors, and the acrylics are usually a thought out idea, using a lot of different photos for reference. I use photos really for shadow references, not to make a copy of the image. Also, I find it helpful to make colors much paler than I would initially think to do, and make shadows darker than I would initially think to make them. How’s that for a LONG answer? Hope that helps, if only a little.
If you have further questions, never hesitate to ask!
I need to! Unfortunately, I do the watercolor horizontally, not at my easel, so I’m not quite sure how I would set it up. If anyone has any ideas, let me know!
I can tell you the process, if that helps :D